The initial SNAP.
There’s the slow break. It may happen without you even knowing, causing a dull pain that you deal with, until you finally admit something isn’t right. Wonder how much damage was done by not addressing the dull pain when you first noticed it. Think about what you would have done differently if you would have only been more mindful.
There’s the hard break. Running at dusk, enjoying the fresh cut grass smell of spring, and your leg buckles. Lying on the cement. No warning. Can’t feel the evening sun, the buzzing lawnmowers lose focus, ringing ears. You feel everything and nothing at once.
Guilt. Remorse. Pain.
The challenging part – admitting that you have a deficiency. You may be the guilty one. Maybe this happened because of your neglect, maybe you could have done something to prevent it.
Wish you could rewind. Go back, stretch, tie your shoes tighter.
Confusion. Betrayal. Hurt.
You did everything you could but the thing you love ruined you. Nothing more to do. Sometimes you can do everything right, yet it still manages to go wrong. You keep telling yourself that. You hope to believe it one day.
You see an expert. Obviously broken. You aren’t yourself, you hurt everywhere. You cry and think discouraging things. Every time you move, you are reminded of the pain. You set up a plan for recovery, but you are filled with guilt for now.
Friends tell you not to worry. That this will be a memory soon enough. That you will run again. But you can’t imagine it. The thought of it makes you sick.
Start out slow. Going out, support from friends. Before you’re ready, but you fear you never will be. Wanting to break out in a full run, wanting the instant satisfaction you used to have, missing the momentum, the possibilities. Having to start over from the beginning. Nothing is the same.
Pushing to do more, move forward. But every step reminds you of what you used to be, the gift you used to have. The gift that’s gone. You relapse. You numb yourself however you can. You close your eyes to pretend you aren’t where you are. Wonder if it will ever feel good again.
You keep stepping, you keep pushing.
Because you have to.
Because you want to believe that everyone else is right and this will all go away.
There will be good days and bad. An entire day will eventually pass where there is no pain. And then a week. Then you will forget that you were ever broken. Eventually, you will be healed. Some evening with overcast clouds and cold rain in the future, you will feel a twinge of pain and be flooded with the old feelings. But you’ll remember getting through it. Remember that you conquered it. And it will be okay.
You will run again. You will be able to see the sunset and smell the spring grass with nothing but feelings of happiness.
You will grow stronger through your healing.